I've been struggling for a while to find the best method in keeping clothes clean. Wondering if anyone has any ideas on what to use besides chemical ridden laundry detergents? I've heard of soap nuts and essential oils. Thinking this might be the best way to go for now? I'm using a conventional washer and dryer since drying on a clothesline isn't very efficient in humid Florida. Also, I'm curious to see if anyone here has created a solar powered dryer, or at least knows how to build one?
I made a detergent lard soap this summer and we've been using it every since for laundry, dishes, house cleaning, and hands. It's water, borax, lard, and lye. You can make a couple gallons of it at a time with a couple pounds of lard. It's fantastic stuff. Strips out grease and tree resin and all kinds of junk. Before this we used vinegar and baking soda, which did a fair enough job but it didn't really remove grease.
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 5 months ago
I used to make that 'homemade' laundry soap with borax, grated bar soap and baking soda or washing soda? seems like there was something else? It just seemed like too much work and now I use a little borax (we're not using the grey water) and/or washing soda on most things, sheets, towels, husband's clothes, etc.
My clothes are fine with soap nuts or sometimes just a couple rinses with plane water.
We do have a jug of ECO brand laundry soap for when things need some extra cleaning power.
...and sometimes use some vinegar or peroxide.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
another option is to begin living with clothes which are dirty/stained even though they might have come out from the laundry machine. I have clothes which are for working in and they are quite stained and i honestly wear them out and about. I see many members of my community wearing there work clothes out and about. When it is a social gathering out come the clothes which are only used for social events.
This might save the need to have many different washing liquids/powders, because the clean clothes stay clean and the dirty clothes stay clean/dirty.
Another thing we do is we soak our clothes for at least a day before we wash them. This seems to help with loosening dirt.
Another thing would be airing out your clothes after you have worn them for a few days and switch to another shirt or pair of pants or socks. this way they can air out and can be worn longer, which would mean using less soap because the clothes get more use before they become washed. I do this quite a lot.
just some ideas.
Living off-grid 23 acre farm, with goats, chickens, pigs and a huge bodacious garden
-USDA Zone 8-9
I've found baking soda and vinegar work surprisingly well at getting clothes clean. Dissolve some baking soda in a cup of warm water, and use that the way you would detergent. Then add vinegar to the rinse water (or put it in the "fabric softener" compartment if using a machine). The reaction forces dirt and odors out of the fabric.
It might not work on something truly filthy, but for most things it'll do just as well as the detergents.
Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds is their household soap that is good for laundry, dishes, and general cleaning. It's a stronger soap than their regular liquid soap for body use. With our rainwater cistern we only need a tablespoon of the Sal Suds to do a load of laundry as the soap is quite concentrated.
Jen Fan wrote:I made a detergent lard soap this summer and we've been using it every since for laundry, dishes, house cleaning, and hands. It's water, borax, lard, and lye. You can make a couple gallons of it at a time with a couple pounds of lard. It's fantastic stuff. Strips out grease and tree resin and all kinds of junk. Before this we used vinegar and baking soda, which did a fair enough job but it didn't really remove grease.
Would you be willing to share your soap recipe?
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